Boyfriend of TV star hunted over nightclub acid attack

Arthur Collins, 25, one of three men police want to question after a noxious substance was sprayed inside an east London nightclub.
Arthur Collins, 25, one of three men police want to question after a noxious substance was sprayed inside an east London nightclub.
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The boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann is being hunted by detectives investigating a nightclub acid attack which left 20 people injured.

Arthur Collins is wanted for questioning after the corrosive liquid was sprayed during an argument at Mangle in Dalston, east London.

The 25-year-old, from Hertfordshire, has been in a relationship with Ms McCann, best known for her appearances on The Only Way is Essex and I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

His home in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, was raided on Monday night by police carrying out an arrest warrant in connection with the attack, where they allegedly found a cache of firearms, cannabis plants and cultivation equipment.

Two clubbers, aged 24 and 29, were seriously hurt in the attack early on Monday morning and have been moved to a specialist burns hospital in Essex, the Metropolitan Police said.

Police said Mr Collins should not be approached, urging members of the public to instead ring 999.

Ms McCann appealed to her boyfriend to turn himself in to police.

A spokeswoman for her said: “Ferne is aware that the police wish to speak to Arthur Collins and the nature of the accusations against him. Obviously these are highly shocking and Ferne has co-operated with the police in their inquiries.

“She was not with Arthur on Sunday night; was not at Mangle; and has no direct knowledge of the events that unfolded. As much as anybody she wants to know the truth and urges Arthur to co-operate fully with the police and attend a police station immediately.”

A 54-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were arrested at Mr Collins’s address on suspicion of cultivating cannabis.

A Hertfordshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police conducting an arrest warrant at an address on White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, at 19.50pm on Monday April 17, discovered cannabis plants and cultivation equipment.

“A 54-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis. Officers seized several plants and illegal firearms at the address.

“The two people arrested are still being investigated.”

Ten people injured in the nightclub were taken to hospital for burns, while two others with similar injuries sought treatment, emergency services said.

A further eight people have since contacted police to report they were injured.

Detective Inspector Lee McCullough said: “We now have 20 people suffering from the effects of an acidic substance being sprayed in a confined space in a busy nightclub.

“All have burn related injuries. The noxious substance used has not yet been confirmed but samples retrieved from the scene have been sent for analysis.

“If you were there and saw anyone involved inside or leaving the nightclub, please get in touch.”

The police search for Mr Collins comes just one day after Ms McCann revealed the couple had plans to wed.

In an interview with OK! magazine, the 26-year-old said: “We’ve spoken about our wedding.

“We want to get married on a beach. I want it to be a party and a celebration.”

She said the pair met on Instagram last August.

Among those hurt was Sadie Wright, the cousin of ex-Premier League footballer Jamie O’Hara, who later described the attack as “sick”.

Australian model Isobella Fraser, 22, was burnt down her arm and back when the liquid seared through her dress and left her unable to breathe, according to reports.

Her sister, Prue, 20, was also scalded by the noxious substance.

Hundreds of people were at the venue when the incident occurred, and roads were closed as emergency services, including a hazardous area response team, rushed to the scene.

Witnesses reported several victims were outside with burns across their bodies, while others were seen pouring water on what appeared to be an injured friend.

The Only Way Is Essex stars Jamie Reed, Jade Lewis and Chloe Meadows were among those forced to leave the bank holiday LoveJuice event.